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Sept. 24, 2005
True Crime: New York City - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
23/11/2005ActivisionLuxoflux1$89.95

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Down in Chinatown.
A couple of years ago - November 2003 to be precise - Activision released a game on PS2 call True Crime: Streets of LA, a game which didn't get the greatest reviews, that was always a tough call with a certain Rockstar series being released however it did do well enough in terms of sales. Well enough that publishers Activision and developers Luxoflux (who were previously known for their Vigilante 8 titles. Now the company is set to release their second True Crime title, this time set in New York City rather then Los Angeles.

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The Mona Lisa?
In True Crime: New York City gamers assume the role of Marcus Reed, a former criminal turned cop, and use and abuse their authority to hunt down the murderer of Marcus’ mentor while also cleaning up Manhattan neighborhoods from Harlem to Chinatown. Undercover investigations weave players through a murderous web of gangs and deceit as they battle crooks, Marcus’ past and everything else the city throws at them. As Marcus Reed players bust criminals, take down murderous gangs, extort, interrogate, search and seize and dispense justice however they choose – either by the book or by indulging in the temptations of the job.

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Climbing to the rooftop!
The developers have created much of New York City for this game including the big apple's many distinct suburbs. In fact the developers are claiming to have re-created around 31,000 buildings (although you won't be able to walk into them all of course) as well as 80 landmarks, 1200 miles (about 1800km) of roads.

The player’s “law enforcement” decisions in True Crime: New York City affect Manhattan’s neighborhoods dynamically: if players let crime go unchecked, the crime rate will soar as the streets fill with trash, potholes and unsavory characters while buildings and foliage deteriorate. Alternately, if players clamp down on crime in a neighborhood, not only will crime rates fall, but visual improvements will indicate their progress as well. The game also includes a day/night cycle with variable weather effects and impressively different shops will open and close at different hours of the day.

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Just hanging around.
As a street-smart cop players are able to switch fighting styles– from street fighting to various types of martial arts – on the fly against opponents, opening up an array of moves and strategies designed to take down enemies. In terms of weapons we can expect not only police issue, but also high powered black market weapons such as flamethrowers, grenade launchers, bats and swords. As expected shotguns will play a major role, and not just your standard shotgun but rather the developers are including a Tactical Shotgun, Sawed Off Shotgun or a Full Auto Shotgun. Submachine guns include the .45 caliber submachine gun (which can be dual wielded), 9mm SMG and 4.6mm Personal Defense Weapon.

Unprecedented environmental interaction allows players to access almost everything in the environment that will help them defeat enemies including stove top burners, ovens, industrial machinery, locking a suspect in a freezer and using broken chair legs as clubs.

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Watch out for the cop behind!
In terms of voice actors Activision have announced that the cast includes Christopher Walken as FBI field agent Gabriel Whitting; Laurence Fishburne as drug kingpin Isaiah “The King” Reed; Mariska Hargitay as New York Police Lieutenant Deena Dixon; Mickey Rourke as New York Police Detective Terrence Higgins; Esai Morales as New York Police Organized Crime Unit chief Victor Navarro; Traci Lords as madam Cassandra Hartz; and up and coming actor Avery Waddell as former gangster turned cop Marcus Reed, the game’s main character and Isaiah Reed’s son. The developers have also spent hours on the streets of New York recording ambient sounds for inclusion in the game.

True Crime: New York City has been in development for a considerable amount of time now and it really is shaping up as something quite special. The graphics look quite nice and the voice work is certain to be impressive. Without a doubt this looks like one of the biggest Christmas 2005 releases - especially without a certain Rockstar franchise making an appearance on PS2 this year.